Ford Motor Co. in Dearborn today unveiled two taxis: the 2019 Transit Connect Taxi, which has a diesel engine, and Ford’s most fuel-efficient, purpose-built taxi – the 2019 Fusion Hybrid Taxi.
“Taxi operators want vehicles that are reliable, efficient, and comfortable,” says Imran Jalal, brand and communications manager for Ford fleet marketing. “Transit Connect Taxi and Fusion Hybrid Taxi offer all three with special attention to potentially help lower fuel costs. Plus, Fusion Hybrid underscores our commitment to introduce even more efficient and capable hybrids in the future.”
The Transit Connect Taxi, which is equipped with a 1.5-liter EcoBlue diesel engine, available to order soon, is targeted to return an EPA-estimated highway rating of at least 30 mpg. Final EPA-estimated ratings are expected to be available in early 2019.
The taxi offers seating for five with more than 60 cubic feet of cargo volume behind the second row. It comes with a recessed second-row seat, a taxi upfit wiring harness, first-row side curtain airbags, and an optional roof access hole for signage and a reverse sensing system. It has sliding doors, a low vehicle floor, and can be made wheelchair accessible through the Ford Qualified Vehicle Modifier program. The modification features a ramp that doubles as a deck for cargo when stowed in the back.
The Fusion Hybrid Taxi shares parts with the Ford Police Responder Hybrid for improved durability in a livery duty cycle. Ford is projecting EPA-estimated ranges comparable to that of the Ford Police Responder Hybrid, which has EPA estimated ratings of 40 mpg city, 36 mpg highway, and 38 mpg combined.
The hybrid taxi includes a police-tuned suspension with increased ride height and calibrated high-performance brakes, plus steel wheels. It includes seating in heavy-duty cloth or vinyl, vinyl floors, a standard rearview camera, and a mounting plate on top of the instrument panel to secure taxi meters and other fleet equipment.
Both taxis are available in School Bus Yellow paint and can be ordered now. They are expected to go on sale by the end of the year.